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Op-eds

British Royals have Jewish ancestors

  • ColinJantjies
When more than 11 million television viewers watched the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, commentators remarked that the mixed marriage was a first for British royalty. This is not true.
by COLIN BRIAN JANTJIES | Jun 28, 2018

King George III’s wife, Queen Charlotte, who he married in 1761, was black. They had 15 children. Queen Elizabeth II is a great, great, great grandchild of theirs.

The House of Windsor, regardless of its pale complexions, blushing cheeks, and rosy lips, was built on mixed marriage. The Queen Mum and Queen Elizabeth have casually commented on their black ancestors.

The first recorded mixed marriage occurred in Africa (Egypt) between Joseph, the Hebrew, and Asenath, the daughter of an Egyptian high priest (Genesis 41: 46). The match-maker was Pharaoh.

Moses also took a black wife, Zipporah, a Midianite. Miriam was furious. Moses felt hurt, and G-d was livid. His anger against Miriam (which nearly cost her life) taught the Israelites a vital lesson. Colour was not an issue, only faith and belief.

Mixed marriages happened soon after the arrival of the Hebrews in Canaan. Judah married the Canaanite Shuah (Genesis 38: 2). They had three sons. Thereafter, Judah had a relationship with his Canaanite daughter-in-law, Tamar, who produced twins, Perez and Zera (Genesis 38: 1-30; 1 Chronicles 2: 4). The Book of Ruth describes her marriage to Boaz. She was a Moabite. He was a Jewish prince born of a Canaanite mother, Rahab (Joshua 2: 1; 3; 6: 17-25). Their son was Obed. Obed’s son Jesse was King David’s father (Ruth 4: 13-22). David married a Canaanite woman, Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11: 3; 23: 34). Their son became King Solomon. Judges 3: 5-6 informs us that the Israelites didn’t shy away from mixed marriages.

The story of Joseph, the son of Rachel and favourite of Jacob, is pivotal to Israelite tribal history. Besides the patriarchs, only Joseph, Moses, and David play monumental roles: Joseph as head of the House of Israel, Moses as the law-giver, and David as the king of Israel.

Joseph’s marriage was an immense affair. For his remarkable ability to interpret dreams and for his admirable moral character, Pharaoh gave Joseph the title and rank of Prime Minister. By marrying into Egyptian society, Joseph’s Hebrew family (Jacob, his 11 brothers, their wives and children) officially became members of the most powerful royal house in the world.

Thus, in an age before the rise of Assyria, Babylon, Greece, and Rome, the Hebrews were royalty. Ironically, the new Pharaoh who enslaved them was an Assyrian (Isaiah 52: 4). The Assyrians or Hyksos, as they were then called, are the ancestors of the Germans.

Joseph had two sons, Manashe and Ephraim. Jacob, his father, claimed them for himself. Jacob conferred on Ephraim the blessings of the first-born. Not only did Jacob elevate the sons of Joseph above their brethren, but he also transferred his name upon them. Henceforth, they would be called the House of Israel. Joseph’s descendants, after their Assyrian exile in 720-22 BCE, would dominate the world.

The House of Israel become the founders of Europe. The Ten Lost Tribes, believed to include Denmark, Sweden, Scandinavia, France, Holland, Britain, all fulfilled the prophecies of Jacob’s blessings. As the greatest empire the world had ever seen, Ephraim’s (Britain) mixed descendants now number in the billions (Genesis 22: 17). According to Irish, Scottish and English history, the tribes of Ephraim and Manashe settled in Britain. This is referred to in Jeremiah 31: 10.

King Zedekiah died in Babylon. His sons were killed in Judea. History records that Zedekiah was the last of the Jewish kings. Yet G-d had promised David an everlasting line of kings (2 Samuel 7: 16; Genesis 89: 10; Psalm 89: 3-4; 29-37). Did G-d err?

King Zedekiah had two daughters. The Jewish princesses were spirited away (Jeremiah 43: 6). Jeremiah became their mentor. The question is: what happened to them? Where did they go? From Britain and Ireland, we learn a remarkable tale. One of daughters, Tea-Tephi, married a descendant of Joseph. Through this union the House of Judah and the House of Israel were reunited. Joseph’s descendants were never Jews. They were never referred to as Jews by their Israelite brethren. Yet today British royalty is not only colourfully mixed but of Jewish heritage.

Astonishingly, England believes it is the House of Israel. The tribe of Ephraim. The first-born of G-d (Exodus 4: 22; Jeremiah 31: 9). Its bloodline stretches back before the coronation of King David to the Egyptian Royal House, thus making it the oldest living dynasty in the world. Britain’s Jewish roots are still in place. The Israeli Embassy in London is on crown land. It was Britain who created the new Jewish state. Like Joshua (Numbers 13: 16), it was an Ephraimite who led the Hebrew tribes in conquering Canaan. The Queen’s sons and male heirs are circumcised by a mohel. A Rabbi dutifully visits the family every erev Shabbat.

The Song of Solomon, an interracial love story, chosen for Harry and Meghan’s wedding was in fact the Queen’s suggestion. This begs the question: when is British royalty going to tell the world who they really are? And how would the Jewish world react to this news? Oy gevalt!

·         Colin Brian Jantjies is a member of the Lemba tribe and has a Masters degree in Israelite Studies from Stellenbosch University. He is a senior lecturer in Cultural and Media Studies and a Torah scholar, with interest in Biblical Interpretation and the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel.

 

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